“My love isn’t a lie, a phase or a cause. It is, but love, just like yours,” reads the screen before proceeding to show us a meet-cute. However, we don’t get the usual boy-meets-girl, we get girl-meets-girl. As the video progresses, we are given glimpses of relationship, all the way to their break-up and the subsequent yearning and attempts at moving on.
The video accompanies the song ‘Fool to Want You’ by Janvi Anand, an LA based, Indian acoustic guitarist, singer, and songwriter. “I have been performing professionally for about 3 years now,” she shares. “As a child, I was very interested in learning different musical instruments. Music has always been my calling. I want to use my talent to help people.”‘Fool To Want You’ was created with the same idea in mind. “The video is meant especially for everyone who feels alone or ashamed of who they are,” she suggests.
Janvi’s earthy voice, which sounds almost purposely made a few notches deeper, sounds sublime against the video. Shots of her strumming the guitar, playing the role of the singer-songwriter is interspersed with the moments of the relationship that the song is about. Whether the story is that of a break-up or of unrequited love is open to interpretation. However, the scenes of the scorned lover drowning herself, both literally and figuratively, brings to mind the images of Devdas, or to put it more strongly, the image of men who can’t handle rejection. A split screen image showing one moving on, while the other continues to yearn accompanies a final, “Am I a fool to want you?” as the music and the video fades into oblivion.
The lyrics are simple, telling us what might be read as the thoughts of anyone in love. “My writing style is inspired by emotions and events one goes through in day to day life. In today’s world people are scared of admitting their feelings to themselves and others. So through my music, I want to try and help them get in touch with themselves. Fool to Want You portrays a cluster of emotions one goes through in a split second when confused about someone they like. Should they pursue them, how they make them happy, but they are flawed too. I have seen many of my friends go through it and personally so have I” she says, when asked about what inspired her to write the song.
The video was in works even before the verdict with regards to Section 377 and so once the decision was proclaimed it made sense for her to release the video. “Decriminalisation of Section 377, I believe, it a great step forward in the right direction. It at least gives the community a platform to take the discussion to the next step. However, even the most progressive people from our generation, fail to provide people from the LGBTQ+ community a free space. Accepting it exists, and accepting that it is nothing different are two very different things. I am glad people are finally accepting and trying to understand the community. The verdict strengthens that even further. However, to achieve the latter, it still needs a lot of work.” This is exactly why we need more representation, and by that, we mean accurate representation and not the kind that reduces the community to some stock characters simply existing to add meaningless humour to a work. It is efforts, much like that of Janvi’s that will help take this effort one step closer to the end goal of true acceptance and not mere tolerance.